G’day Wallabies!

Lakes and Gardens, the Dolls House Museum and the Rock Garden - and of course our colony of Wallabies.

These are what has attracted so many visitors over the years - and you can visit and enjoy them again when we reopen.

There are three adult wallabies in the purpose-built enclosure, the breeding pen, and a fourth member, a little Joey that brings a smile to the face of all our staff on even the coldest, dampest day here.

The ‘wallies' are great mowing machines, working without pay or petrol every day of the year and, unlike their mechanical counterparts, they are self-reproducing. They do not touch the rhododendrons or azaleas, but we have to put a wire cage round tasty young conifers.

Some of the Wallabies were given to a neighbour some years ago, and we are in discussion to see if one or more can be ‘repatriated’ back to Leonardslee, to increase our stock.

On sunny mornings, when not at work mowing the banks, they like to sit on their tails, sunning their tummies. On busy days they are apt to get fed up with the attention they attract and go and hide until peace returns at dusk.

Of course, in addition to this there are also many wallabies living ‘semi-wild’, across the estate, within gated areas. Quite how many, we don’t know. At some stage we will count them all - but they seem pretty happy as they are. They were originally selected because they are hardy, untroubled by our weather.

They are descendants of the original herd brought here by Sir Edmund Loder in 1889. In spring the females carry a baby or joey in their pouch, and in May or June the young start to get out and stand on their own two feet.

Ends.